In March 2011, the European Commission published a “Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050”, a document aiming to explore the decarbonisation pathways towards 2050 and address Climate Change challenges. The European Commission and Parliament encouraged the different sectors to make similar exercises by looking into the future. It was followed by a “Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe", in September 2011 and an “Energy Roadmap 2050” in December 2011 that lead to a new “climate change and energy package 2030”.

A Competitive and Efficient Lime Industry, Cornerstone for a Sustainable Europe

The lime industry responded positively to this call to dive into the future, and started an in-depth analysis of how it could contribute to achieving these goals while maintaining its global competitiveness.

Supported by Ecofys, EuLA looked at all possible options, ranging from substituting fuels, to efficiency measures and carbon capture. Our industry is not isolated from the outside world. We therefore looked at external factors and how they could impact our industry. Lime is used in a variety of industrial processes; its sustainability is intrinsically linked to that of others. We also examined the potential impact of the cost of carbon on the European lime industry.

Although lime is an important and enabling material for many sectors - it allows reaching functionalities at reduced carbon footprint (e.g. hydrated lime in asphalt or aerated concrete) - our exercise mainly focused on what the lime sector can influence itself.

However, considering the fact that lime is an enabling product used by many different industries as steel, glass, paintings, civil engineering etc. its development depends on the development of the other industries and linked to the economic growth of those sectors. In addition, as 70% of CO2 emissions are related to process emissions their abatement is conditional. For those reasons, the lime industry preferred to make no assumptions on future developments but rather show that the industry is working in such a way to ensure that lime will remain a competitive and efficient industry in the future provided the ad-equate political support.

Launch of the roadmap

On the 03rd of December 2014, EuLA organised a breakfast meeting with the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development" in order to launch its roadmap.

The event was co-hosted by MEP Peter Liese (Member of the EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) and MEP Paul Rübig (Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Co-Chair of the “Research & Innovation” Working Group of the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”).

The following documents were presented:

Summary of the main findings

Increasing carbon constraints towards 2050 invite the European lime industry to look for ways to become even more CO2 -efficient, while maintaining its global competitiveness.

This Roadmap 2050 regards improved energy efficiency and fuel switch (from fossil solid fuels to gas or biomass), and concludes that these options have limited impact. Two-third of all carbon emissions in lime production are released from the raw material during the production process and can be reduced by Carbon Capture and Storage or Utilization, for which the business case needs to improve to become attractive.

In a Europe with increasing pressure on CO2 emission, the competitiveness of the lime industry needs special  attention, particularly in the framework of the EU emissions trading scheme. Unilateral EU pressure on CO2 emissions from the manufacturing industry could reduce both the EU demand for lime (in case of carbon leakage in customer sectors) and the share of the remaining EU demand that is produced in the EU.